Hundreds of aspiring young actors from high schools across the Los Angeles region will have the opportunity this week to put their acting chops and theater skills to the test at Cal Poly Pomona’s High School Scene Festival and Technical Olympics.
On Friday, Jan. 11, more than 400 students from 13 high schools are expected to attend the event, which is now in its 21st year.
“It’s extremely well attended,” says Bernardo Solano, chair of the theatre department. “We couldn’t stuff another student in there.”
Throughout the morning, student actors will perform scenes that they have been rehearsing for months for a panel of judges who will score the performances. The top two performances will move on to a larger audience in the afternoon.
“Later in the day they compete in front of everyone,” “It’s quite a big affair.”
High schools competing in the event are: Bassett, Bonita, California, Centennial, Chino, Chino Hills, Los Angeles County High School of the Arts, Mission Viejo, Rancho Cucamonga, St. Lucy’s Priory, Sultana, Walnut and West Covina.
While the morning’s performances are taking place, the theatre department will hold a series of workshops to help students learn the technical aspects of theater, such as sound design, stage combat, lighting, scenery painting and auditioning, Solano says.
The day also includes Technical Olympics, which test how quickly and accurately students are able to perform tasks such as costume and scenery changes, or setting up stage lights.
Solano says he hopes the activities will inspire the students to take their passion for acting to the next level.
“It’s a way to validate what they are in interested in,” Solano says. “This is an important step in that direction.”
(Photo: Yelena Akopian, Aidan McCollough and Natalie Hill of the Los Angeles County High School of the Arts perform “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare” Abridged during the 19th Annual High School Scene Festival and Technical Olympics in the University Theater at Cal Poly Pomona January 14, 2011.)